XXV edition
8/13 December 2015


The power of arms

Having gone off to America in 2002 to seek her fortune on the stage and screen, Italian born-and-raised actress Celeste Moratti plays detective Aimee Dobkins in the independent film written and directed by Sean Roberts, Traffickers, which has already won the Award for Best Film at the 2015 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.
"When I read the script I thought it was fantastic," recalls Moratti, also executive producer of the film. "Agent Dobkins is more of an observer than a talker, a person who is very isolated, with an aura of mystery about her that makes her interesting. A character not all that different from me, so I didn’t find it very difficult to get into the role, nor did I look to any particular actors for my inspiration, although it is true that if I think of the role of a detective, Gary Oldman immediately comes to mind. Oldman always injects humanity into characters with a dark side."

The film, which opts for a realistic approach and has an almost documentary feel, revolves around the "fate" of a pistol that triggers off a series of dramatic events in the plot and has landed Traffickers smack in the middle of the great national debate on the right to bear arms in the United States. "It’s time to change the mentality especially of younger people, who think that guns give them power and authority; that they’re….’cool’," says Moratti. "Not having been born in the U.S., I feel it is utterly absurd that machine guns, for example, are on sale in supermarkets, and regulation of the sale of weapons is urgently needed. The entire issue is enormously complicated, since such a regulatory policy is not only perceived by many Americans as curtailing their freedoms; it also runs up against the all-powerful gun lobby."

When asked about her own experience in the States, the actress says, "In America film and theater are seen first as a business and second as art forms. It’s very hard to make it, there are no free rides, and for this very reason it’s a system that generates a strong awareness of its own value." Celeste Moratti is currently rehearsing a reworking of Hamlet in New York, and will soon be involved in Sean Roberts’ new film, Cold Hands, a gangster story set in Philadelphia.